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canstockphoto18799595Dear JC,

Yesterday someone told me, “I started your book, but then I went on vacation…”

I get that SO much (not go on vacation, just “I started your book but…”). I know this probably sounds weird, but I would love to get a negative comment or two on my book. In fact, I would be happy with any feed back. Mostly I get no response at all and it makes me feel quite invisible. So I don’t really know what to think. But it doesn’t indicate a page-turner, does it?

— Invisible on Amazon


Dear Invisible,

I know you’re thinking “My book sucks. I need to give up writing. I’m a failure.” However, that’s probably not the case.

I get the “I started your book, but…” from friends and family members who do not read for enjoyment, and other writers who — like me — tend to devote their free time to writing. But I’m not writing books for my friends and family. I write mystery-suspense novels for mystery-suspense readers. You need to find your audience too.

If you’re looking for reviews, reach out to readers and authors on who enjoy your genre, and ask them to write a review. Consider trading reviews — if you read their books and write an honest review, they’ll read your book and write an honest review. You can also find a local critique group and writing conferences with people who can help you polish your work.

Finally, if you’re wanting to write a page turner, become a student of page turning novels. Personally, I consider “Intensity” by Dean Koontz to be the ultimate page turner. Find several books that you consider “a page turner” and, don’t just re-read them, but study them. There are also lot’s of books out there on the subject, such as Writing a Killer Thriller: An Editor’s Guide to Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction by Jodie Renner. Now go study, study, study.

Good luck and keep on writing.


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